Last Thursday, MachineShop presented a session to the crowd attending Denver Startup Week. For those not familiar with the event, Denver Startup Week is a six-day celebration of “everything entrepreneurial in Denver”. As promoted by the organizers, the event brings together Denver’s entrepreneurial community to celebrate the companies, innovation and ideas happening in the city and the people and inspiration behind them.
A wide variety of educational and social events were held including sessions, presentations, panels, workshops, happy hours, social events and job fairs. I haven’t seen the 2014 numbers yet, but in 2013, over 5,500 startup community members and over 650 companies attended over 125 community-driven events!
Ours was a great interactive session entitled “Rise of the Machines (and the Service behind them)”. We had a great audience of more than 50 comprised of both technology focused and business focused attendees. Ryan Stephens and I represented MachineShop at the session which was held at a cool e-recruitment startup code-talent in downtown Denver.
I presented an overview of the history of what is now called IoT, but was called M2M or just connected devices in the past. Given the hype now in the market, its important to understand how we got to the point where we are today. I’ve been in this industry longer than most and it was great to discuss with the audience some of the experiences I have had connecting devices and the major challenges in creating a compelling web application especially with older legacy devices or systems. The goal of the meeting was to impart some knowledge so I spent a lot of time talking about these challenges and how various technologies have been deployed in the past to help solve the issue.
While not trying to just present a sales deck on MachineShop, we did discuss our approach to the market and how we see the services necessary for the current IoT market. Using an API-centric approach to devices and the services that can be exposed related to them, the audience quickly understood our approach. Real-time processing and data security were big topics of the Q&A session after our presentation. It’s clear these are big issues and developers are looking for solutions.
Ryan did a great job talking about the technologies that we use on our backend services to enable our Connected Services Platform. We are on the leading edge of technology using the best of current open source tools to insure a very highly reliable offering. As part of his discussion, he walked the audience through a “Day in the life of a Device” and showed how we processed information coming from a tracking device that we had circling the block. The audience was very excited when we showed them a sample application written from just 6 API services that fully tracked the device and we could watch it move around the block in real-time.
One of the other important aspects of our system involves our ability to deploy our solution in AWS and also in several private cloud environments. Using Capistrano tools Ryan was able to show how we do single command line deployments with no downtime to users.
Overall, Denver startup week was a big success. Our session was well attended and judging from the comments made by some of our Denver team, many sessions were very informative. We learned a few tricks from others in the startup community in Denver and established some good relationships.